1. Being a City fan on the road is always going to have its difficulties, but it feels especially grim at the moment. Reading was the about the closest we’ve come to a first League success outside of Hull in 13 months, and to have it snatched away late in the game feels rather cruel.
2. Cruel, and careless too. It was a scruffy game between two sides with little chance of troubling the top six, but an unhappy season would’ve been briefly lent a little lustre if we’d finally won an away game. Whether we deserved three points isn’t a moot point – we’ll get onto it shortly – but when you’re that close to a win against deeply mediocre opposition, it’s desperately disappointing to let it slip with five minutes left.
3. Reading ‘enjoyed’ 74% of the possession on Saturday, a statistic that is, on the face of it, quite damning for Leonid Slutsky and the Tigers. However it is unlikely that many Royals fans enjoyed it, given that Jaap Stam’s side rarely did anything with the ball: there was no purpose to their passing and remarkably few real goalscoring chances fashioned. Their pointless possession didn’t reflect badly on City, it suited us.
4. Seb Larsson’s City career has had a patchy start, but he was involved in most of City’s best chances at the Madejski Stadium. His through ball for Fraizer Campbell’s goal was sublime, perfectly weighted and taking two Reading players out of play, and he was unlucky not to score himself from two direct free kicks. The first struck the crossbar, and the second caused Vito Mannone some difficulty when it deflected off the wall. One game doesn’t make a season, but there are signs that Larsson can make a meaningful contribution this year.
5. As for Campbell, it was gratifying to see him notch his first City goal in 9 years, 4 months and 28 days. He showed great awareness in anticipating Larsson’s through ball and carefully placing his shot beyond both the ‘keeper and covering defender.
6. This week sees a pair of home fixtures, and a chance to speedily add to our worryingly thin points tally. Preston visit on Tuesday, and will do so lying in an unexpectedly elevated position. They certainly weren’t among the pre-season favourites, but they’ve started well – a match that may, two months ago, have seemed among autumn’s less testing assignments doesn’t feel that way right now.
7. Then it’s Birmingham. They’ve just raised a smile by ending Harry Redknapp’s career, but that does mean they could well have a new manager by the time they travel to the Circle in five days. Having picked up a handy point at Derby on Saturday, their present position of 23rd is possibly a false one.
8. But never mind all that…it’s two home games, and although you’d have to be either overburdened with optimism or untroubled by rationality to envisage City as automatic promotion candidates, even a side aspiring for a respectable and stabilising top half finish needs to be amassing no fewer than four points from these two games. Right?
9. Saturday sees what may potentially be an escalation in the attempts to rid ourselves of the Allam scourge. A new group named “Hull City Action For Change” (HCAFC – geddit?) are holding a public event on Saturday before the Birmingham match in the William Gemmell on Anlaby Road. We look forward to seeing what they have to say and their learning their plans to bring about a fresh start for the club.
10. It was interesting to see the Football League’s response to AFC Wimbledon referring to MK Dons as just MK on the scoreboard and not at all on the matchday programme this weekend. A League statement read: “The failure to recognise MK Dons in the correct manner causes reputational issues for the EFL as well as creating the potential for unrest amongst MK Dons supporters and, as such, is of concern for the EFL.” Strange that the League have said nothing about our club’s repeated failures to recognise the name Hull City, nor the unrest among supporters created by inconsistent branding, since both cause reputational issues for the EFL, right?
If you missed out last year, our friends at Football Bobbles are re-releasing ‘The Deano’ bobble hat (based on the famous/infamous 1992/93 home shirt) this Friday at 7pm.